Kasabian singer pleads guilty to assaulting his ex-fiance, parts ways with band
Long-running UK band Kasabian announced on Monday that frontman Tom Meighan was stepping down from the band in order to deal with "personal issues." Today, details of those issues are out. Meighan has pleaded guilty to assaulting his former fiance, Vikki Ager, in an incident on April 9. Meighan did not get jail time but was sentenced to 200 hours of public service and is required to complete five days of rehabilitation. From The Guardian:
The court heard that Ager was hit in the face, shoved into a hamster cage and pushed over repeatedly and threatened with a wooden pallet during the assault on 9 April.
Video footage of the incident showed Meighan striking Ager and dragging her by the ankles into the back garden of their home, causing her multiple injuries.
The district judge, Nick Watson, told the singer: “I could have sent you to prison for this” as he ordered him to carry out unpaid work for what he described as a “sustained attack” that was a “violation of the trust and security that should exist between partners”.
Watson said Ager had not made a statement to police and “does not appear to support this prosecution” but added that police had been called to the address before and there was “evidence of previous abusive behaviour”.
He added: “I need to take account of the fact that not only did you hurt Ms Ager, you also let down many people – band members and those who love your music.
“They will be shocked about what you did that night. I have been told that you have recognised that you have a problem with alcohol.”
Initially, Meighan denied the assault charges but after being shown the video he told officers to turn it off because it was "horrible." The call to police came from a child who witnessed the assault.
Meighan's attorney said the singer felt "deep remorse" and a sense of "personal humiliation - but he has nobody but himself to blame," adding he admits to a "battle with alcohol" and said that "to lose the opportunity to perform with the band he loves and people he loves is a huge personal loss."
UPDATE: Kasabian have now released a new statement, saying, "Now that the legal proceedings have been concluded, we can comment on the departure of Tom Meighan from the band." They write "We were left with no choice but to ask Tom to leave the band. There is absolutely no way we can condone his assault conviction. Domestic violence and abuse of any kind is totally unacceptable....As soon as we found out about the charges made against Tom, we as a band made the decision that we could no longer work with him. Unfortunately we had to hold back this information till he was found guilty in court." Read the whole statement below.